Pentax K20D and K200D, and Samsung GX20: dSLR dNA

Pentax and Samsung have announced the K20D, K200D and GX-20, dSLRs with a shared DNA: image stabilisation, dust removal and live view are shared by these 10- and 14-megapixel models

Pentax and Samsung have been dSLR-developing bedfellows since October 2005, and the latest fruit of their loins have been born at PMA 2008 . The Pentax K20D -- pictured above -- and K200D, and the Samsung GX-20 may have different badges on the front, but they share a common DNA under the surface.

Pentax and Samsung have co-developed the 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the cameras, a 23.4x15.6mm chip manufactured by Samsung. The pair claim that minimising the amount of circuitry around each photosite keeps the light-sensitive area of each pixel at the same size as in other manufacturers' 12-megapixel sensors.

The new cameras boast the now de rigeur live view and sensor-cleaning features. A welcome innovation is that the K20D's live view allows for adjustment of colour onscreen in real time, allowing you to calibrate the screen to give a better idea of how a shot will turn out.

The sensor-cleaning system uses different methods to keep the sensor, and your images, free of dust specks. Pentax's solution is the one used by most new dSLRs these days: a special coating keeps tiny detritus off the surface of the sensor filter, which is then vibrated to shake particles free and trap them in a sticky sheet below.

As well as the usual shutter and aperture priority modes, which allow you to specify either of these settings so the camera can adjust other factors accordingly, there's an aperture/shutter priority that allows you to specify both. A sensitivity priority mode allows you to set the ISO speed and the camera does the rest, although we're not sure if anyone would ever want to, seeing as maximum ISO options have been around for a while.

The K20D will cost around £900 for the body only. Click through the links to meet the K20D's brother and sister. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Pentax K200D review and Pentax K20D review

The Pentax K200D is a step down from the K20D in terms of resolution, boasting a 10-megapixel APS-C sensor. It includes many of the features from the K200D, including dust-proof and water-resistant construction with special seals applied to 60 different parts of the camera body, including the shutter buttons and controls.

Mechanical image stabilisation moves the sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed by the magic of magnetism. Pentax claims it will save you between 2.5 and 4 shutter-speed stops.

Like the other cameras, the K200D records images to SD and SDHC memory cards. It will cost £580 with an 18-55 mm lens.

The GX-20 is similar to the Pentax models, with the obligatory built-in optical image stabilisation, dust removal and an Enhanced Digital Filter for expanded dynamic range.

The GX-20 will be available from March 2008. For a kit with 18-55mm lens you'll pay about £699. So which one to buy? We'll let you know when we get our hands on them for a full review.

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Cameras
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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